Pulling People from the Union Machine
The extremity of Mike Cappelli’s comment about unions offers a starting point from which more tempered opinions can be considered:
Do these pigs ever acknowledge that the taxpayers are people, too? Do they ever acknowledge that their “clients” are children, too?
Dealing with these pigs is like dealing with Hamas, Justin. You just can’t do it. You continue to delude yourself into thinking someway, somehow, there is a silver bullet out there to fix this problem, and you just need to find that one way to deal with these pigs.
I don’t waste my time on such useless pursuits.
Mike pulls back from the direct comparison to terrorists, comparing instead the act of dealing with the group in question, but there’s still an underlying difference that destroys the conclusion: Union members are not an isolated culture isolated from their fellow citizens. They are our neighbors, and the side that forgets the humanity of its opposition will ultimately fail.
Look, probably more than half of the emphasis in unions’ propaganda is directed at their members, for whom questioning union tactics may lead to questioning union value. Local taxpayer groups can’t be acknowledge as consisting of residents who are seeing their tax bills drive up their monthly mortgage payments, even as their employers scale back salaries; they aren’t aging retirees watching their income flake away; they’re “astroturf” groups, mouthing a bought-and-sold line of rhetoric funded by powerful interests from whom union members must seek protection. (In Tiverton Citizens for Change, we’ve taken to calling ourselves “crabgrass.”) The numbers showing the disparity between union members and the people who pay their bills must be seen as spun, not factual illustrations of inequity. And so on.
The reasons that union members are susceptible to the chatter of their labor organizations are readily empathizable. Nobody ever feels as if they are compensated at their full value. Nobody fails to notice that they face sometimes uncomfortable restrictions on their spending. And yet, union members sense that they’ve got it good compared with their private-sector counterparts, and it’s surely reasonable to fear that somebody will wash that advantage away, perhaps even with some justice.
Mike is correct to say that there is no silver bullet; no argument will prove powerful enough to shatter the illusions forged in self-interest and well-financed intellectual trickery. But inasmuch as union members can see through their glass boxes, they may be drawn out of them, into their full communities. Giving them violent images against which to react will only add layers to the walls.